Baitcaster Comparison: Abu Garcia Max X vs STX vs PRO

See here for a pro review of Abu Garcia’s new affordable line of baitcasting reels. Max X vs STX vs PRO compared on price, quality and features

Abu Garcia has designed a new line of Max reels designed for serious performance. These replace the Silver Max and Black Max. Improving on the already high quality of Abu Garcia reels, this new Max series offers more control, improved durability, and a smoother cast.

The price point of these new reels is in the same range as the previous Max line of baitcast reels. With improved features like the MagTrax braking system, an ergonomic body, and precision machined brass gears, you will find the new Max line offers added responsiveness and an extremely smooth, accurate cast right out of the box.

Abu Garcia Max X vs STX vs PRO: Comparison Table

All Max reels offer great features like sealed ball bearings, a lightweight graphite body, and a machined aluminum spool ready for braided fishing line or light monofilament. The Max Pro has a slightly higher gear ratio, but all three reels give better control than the previous models. A roller bearing provides smooth casting and the rocket spool lip design helps prevent tangles.

Abu Garcia Max Pro

Abu Garcia Max Pro
  • Weight: 7.4 oz
  • Mono Capacity: 10 lb/ 150 yards
  • Braid Capacity:  10 lb/ 180 yards
  • Max Drag: PRO 15 lb
  • Gear Ratio: PRO 7.1:1

Abu Garcia STX

Abu Garcia STX
  • Weight: 7.4 oz
  • Mono Capacity: 10 lb/ 150 yards
  • Braid Capacity: STX 10 lb/ 180 yards
  • Max Drag: STX 15 lb
  • Gear Ratio: STX 6.4:1

Abu Garcia Max X

Abu Garcia Max X
  • Weight:  7.4 oz
  • Mono Capacity: 10 lb/150 yards
  • Braid Capacity: 10 lb/180 yards
  • Max Drag:  15 lb
  • Gear Ratio: 6.4:1, STX 6.4:1, PRO 7.1:1

Abu Garcia Max X vs STX vs PRO: Key Differences

With great features like oversized soft touch knobs, brass gears, and the power disk drag system, these new Abu Garcia reels are designed for serious anglers. Each reel is built on a lightweight graphite body with an ergonomic frame for hours of comfortable fishing. The company’s patented MagTrax braking system offers an easily adjustable magnetic drag system with a quick turn dial. The result is consistent braking throughout the cast to keep the line flowing at an even rate.

While there are vast similarities between the Abu Garcia max reels, there are subtle differences between the models to allow anglers a choice.

Abu Garcia Max X Review

Abu Garcia Max X

Abu Garcia Max X

Abu Garcia Max X
Our Score

The attractive red and black Max X most closely resembles the previous Abu Garcia Black Max reel. This lightweight reel has a total of 5 ball bearings, with one being a roller bearing. The power disk drag is adjustable up to 14 pounds. Paired with an ultralight or light-medium rod, this reel is great for panfishing using light lures or live bait.

  • 6.4:1 gear ratio
  • slow oscillation for even line lay
  • power disk drag system

Abu Garcia Max STX Review

Abu Garcia Max STX

Abu Garcia Max STX

Abu Garcia Max STX
Our Score

The next step up in this new lineup is the Max STX. This beauty is an excellent reel for freshwater or lightweight saltwater fishing. Like the other Abu Garcia Max reels, the STX has sealed ball bearings and a power disk drag system. The machined aluminum spool provides strength without adding excess weight. The Max STX spinning reel has a graphite body and rotor for improved durability. The Rocket line management system makes casting effortless and accurate.

  • attractive grey, yellow and orange color scheme
  • oversized soft touch knobs
  • 5 +1 sealed ball bearings

Abu Garcia Max PRO

Abu Garcia Max PRO

Abu Garcia Max PRO

Abu Garcia Max PRO
Our Score

The top model Abu Garcia Max Pro has an impressive bearing system of 7 +1 bearings to offer smooth operation for a lifetime. Like the Max STX, the Max Pro reel has a lightweight graphite body and includes the rocket spool line management system to get your fishing lines where you want them the first time. Paired with a light to medium rod, the Max Pro will handle all your fishing needs. Slow oscillation offers smooth retrieval and even line lay, whether you use monofilament or braided line. The large capacity machined aluminum spool holds plenty of line and delivers it smoothly with the rocket line management system lip design.

  • compact star and handle
  • Automatic anti-reverse
  • right or left-hand operation

Some retailers offer a combo purchase that includes a medium rod paired with the Max Pro reel, pre-spooled with Berkley Trilene braided line. The price is comparable to purchasing the components separately and combining reels and rods. If you are new to fishing, this combo might be your best option. You can purchase the combo with any of the Max reels and a 6’6″ or 7′ medium rod.

Abu Garcia Max series spinning reels

The Max series of reels are also available in spinning reel models. The same quality and attention to detail are present in the graphite framed, aluminum spool spinning reels. The rocket line management system delivers the line accurately and the Everlast bail offers improved durability and strength.

The Max X spinning reel weight 8.9 oz, has a 5.8:1 gear ratio, and a 4 lb. max drag. With 4+1 stainless steel bearings, this spinning reel is a great choice for ultralight fishing. The aluminum spool can hold mono or braid with no trouble. The durable disk drag system will help you fight the fish, but not break your line.

The Abu Garcia Max STX spinning reel weighs 8.9 oz, has a 5.2:1 gear ratio, and a 14 lb. max drag. This mid-range reel has 5+1 sealed ball bearings and includes the MagTrax braking system and Everlast one-piece bail. The lightweight frame and spool are comfortable to use all day, without hand fatigue, but the reel is sturdy enough to reel in the big fish.

The Max Pro spinning reel weighs 8.9 oz, has a 5.8:1 gear ratio, and a 14 lb. max drag. 7 sealed stainless steel bearings and 1 roller bearing provide consistent line out and retrieval. The aluminum spool can handle fishing lines of all sizes, including 4 ply braid.

The Abu Garcia Max STX spinning reel and the Abu Garcia Max Pro spinning reel can also be purchased as a combo with a medium rod in 6′ 6″ and 7′ lengths. For additional information about the Max spinning reel combo, visit the Abu Garcia website.

Final Thoughts on Abu Garcia’s Max Reels

Like all Abu Garcia products, the Max reels are designed for anglers who want to own quality products that will help them catch fish without breaking the bank. Moderate pricing makes these reels affordable. While not the least expensive option on the market, these reels and the rod and reel combo, are not overly priced.

Smooth operation, lightweight construction, and quality component parts like sealed ball bearings, brass gears, and precision machined aluminum spools make fishing enjoyable. The reels are designed for maximum performance and control right out of the box.

The addition of the rocket line management system with a rocket spool lip design help feed the line from the reel evenly and give anglers more control. For the price point, all three models are a good buy. From hobby fishermen to professional anglers, the Max lineup offers a quality product at a reasonable price.

If you can only purchase one, the Max STX reel is the most versatile. In both the baitcaster and spinning reel versions, this reel offers a strong, adjustable drag, a high gear ratio, and high-quality components to create a high-performance spinning reel that can handle just about any fish that takes the bait.

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Teresa Taylor is a keen kayak fisher and lover of all types of fishing. She writes about a range of fish species for Tackle Village and reviews lures and gear.
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